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Posted 10/12/2020

Stockmen’s Association elects officers and directors at  91st Annual Convention and Trade Show

For immediate release:

Oct. 12, 2020


For more information, contact:

Jeff Schafer, NDSA president: (701) 653-5690 •

Julie Ellingson, NDSA executive vice president: (701) 223-2522 •

Elizabeth Neshem, NDSA communications director: (701) 223-2522 •


Stockmen’s Association elects officers and directors at

91st Annual Convention and Trade Show


North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) members elected 31-year member and New Rockford, N.D., cattleman Jeff Schafer as the organization’s president at the NDSA’s 91st Annual Convention and Trade Show, “Roaring into the ‘20s,” Oct. 10 in Bismarck, N.D.


Schafer’s Rhein Valley Farm is a sixth-generation operation, with three of those generations currently operating the diversified farm and ranch. It is comprised of a 400-head Angus cow-calf operation and a 999-head backgrounding and finishing feedlot for owned and purchased cattle. Schafer and his family also finish feeder pigs, raise corn, soybeans, pinto beans and seed oats and are full-service Purina dealers with bulk and bag products and a feed mill.


Schafer and his wife Leann have three children, Chelsey (Kyle) Erdmann, Colten and Corey, and a grandson, Cade Erdmann. Schafer served on the NDSA Budget Committee and NDSA Brand Board and was a District 1 director and the vice president before assuming the NDSA’s top post.


“Time is precious and not replaceable; hence, we gather, discuss and unite with a vision for our beef industry to do all we can to make sure it survives for the next generation,” said Schafer in his acceptance remarks at the convention. “It not about us or our agenda, but, rather, to leave this place better than we found it and do all we can for the next generation of beef producers so they can compete in the marketplace. That’s why I am excited to lead this organization into the future.”


Jason Leiseth, a 33-year member from Arnegard, N.D., was elected NDSA vice president. Leiseth and his wife Peggy have three children, Erik (Fallon), Brady and Tyler, and a grandson, Banks. Leiseth operates a commercial Red Angus cow-calf operation and raises small grains and hay.


Before being elected vice president, Leiseth was a District 5 director, served on the NDSA Brand Board and was past chairman and vice chairman of the NDSA Feeding and Marketing Committee.


At the convention, NDSA members also elected or re-elected six directors to represent their respective districts.


In District 1, Justin Maddock of Maddock, N.D., was re-elected to a second four-year term. The 15-year NDSA member manages a cow-calf operation with his father and brothers near Maddock. The family backgrounds its own calves until spring. He also develops heifers for the family’s herd, has a small brood of Quarter Horse mares and manages a small farming operation, raising hay and cover crops for the cattle enterprise and wheat and soybeans as cash crops. Maddock and his wife Rachel have six children, Hailey, Logan, Kaitlyn, Jaycee, Graden and Clayton. Maddock serves on the NDSA Brand Board.


Jared Higgins of Woodworth, N.D., was elected to a first four-year term in District 2. Higgins runs a commercial cow-calf operation with his wife Rebecca and children Janet, Anna and Grace northeast of Woodworth. The family utilizes Angus and Hereford genetics. In addition, he also runs a commercial sheep flock. Higgins is an eight-year NDSA member.


In District 3, Lowell Malard of Bismarck, N.D., was re-elected to a second four-year term. The 23-year NDSA member manages a cow-calf operation utilizing primarily Angus genetics. His spring-born calves are backgrounded and typically marketed in the early spring as feeder steers and replacement heifers. Malard and his wife Shannon have two children, Brita and Clay. Malard chairs the NDSA Ag Policy Committee.


Scott Katus of Watauga, S.D., was elected to a first four-year term in District 4. Katus and his wife Heather have four children, Jacy (Andy) Mrnak, Cole, Braydon and Tally, and a granddaughter, Sloan. Katus, his wife and sons operate a commercial Angus cow-calf operation and a small registered Angus herd. They utilize both Angus and Hereford bulls. The family runs a heifer development program, producing Angus and black-white-face bred heifers. The family backgrounds steers and also grows corn, sunflowers, wheat, barley, oats, sorghum, millet and alfalfa for both feed and cash crops. Katus is a 22-year NDSA member.


In District 5, Howdy Lawlar of Watford City, N.D., was re-elected to a second four-year term. The 13-year NDSA member manages a registered Angus herd and a commercial Angus cow-calf operation. He markets bulls and cow-calf pairs. He also raises small grains and hay. Lawlar and his wife Jodee have three children, Jayde, McCoy and Colt. Lawlar chairs the NDSA Environmental Issues Committee.


In District 6, Shane Anderson of Towner, N.D., was re-elected to a second four-year term. The 19-year NDSA member and his wife Joni run a cow-calf operation, raise their own replacement heifers, background the majority of their calves and, occasionally, purchase feeders to background. Andersons utilize Angus and Lim-Flex genetics. Additionally, they raise corn, oats and alfalfa for feed. Anderson serves on the NDSA Brand Board and chairs the organizations Brand and Theft Committee.


Other members of the NDSA Board of Directors and Executive Committee include the following: NDSA Immediate Past President Dan Rorvig of McVille, N.D.; District 1 Directors Erika Kenner of Leeds, N.D., Levi Rue of Sheyenne, N.D., and Cliff Sanders, Jr., of Clifford, N.D.; District 2 Directors Brian Amundson of Jamestown, N.D., Jeffrey Breker of Havana, N.D., and Brian McDonald of Leonard, N.D.; District 3 Directors Tim Erbele of Streeter, N.D., Craig Kemmet of Tappen, N.D., and Carter Vander Wal of Pollock, S.D.; District 4 Directors Jaimie Hauge of Carson, N.D., Joel Opp of Hebron, N.D., and Casey Voigt of Beulah, N.D.; District 5 Directors Pete Best of Watford City, N.D., Joe Schettler of Killdeer, N.D., and Calli Thorne of Watford City, N.D.; and District 6 Directors Kevin Hansen of Ryder, N.D., Dennis Jacobson of Wildrose, N.D., and Gary Martens of Ross, N.D.


NDSA officers serve up to two one-year terms. Directors serve up to two four-year terms.


NDSA members interested in running for a leadership position should notify their district’s respective Nominating Committee members. The Nominating Committees traditionally name their candidates in June.